Summer jobs for teens can be an excellent way to earn cash during the off-school months for things they want or need, like their first car or college savings. But working over summer break can benefit teens in many other ways, too.
“They learn valuable soft skills like showing up on time, demonstrating a really strong work ethic,” Monster career expert Vicki Salemi told “The List,” a daily TV show covering pop culture and lifestyle topics. (Check the show’s website to find out when it airs in your area.)
A summer job can boost a teen’s confidence, teach time management skills and even help them perform better in school.
“Our research showed that a summer youth employment program has positive and significant effects on academic outcomes, as well,” Stanford researcher Jacob Leos-Urbel said in a report by the Stanford News.
But not all teenagers want to take on typical roles like working at a fast-food drive-through. So, “The List” asked Salemi for suggestions for summer jobs for teens with the “wow factor,” and she shared some ideas they’ll love.
We did some digging to find even more enticing employment options. Check out nine enjoyable and profitable summer jobs for teens.
Teens who want to get out of town and into the great outdoors might enjoy a job as a summer camp counselor.
“Working at summer camp allows you to reacquaint yourself with nature and disconnect from all those screens,” Salemi told “The List.”
Plus, they can enjoy activities like swimming and horseback riding, all while learning leadership skills.
If you’re a teen with a green thumb, consider advertising your services as a plant sitter. When some “plant parents” go on vacation or travel for work, they need someone to care for their leafy little friends so they don’t come home to a house full of shriveled brown plants.
Every job will be different, but tasks may include watering, misting, cleaning plants, removing dead leaves and even talking to the houseplants.
Teens who love animals and enjoy exercise can make money walking dogs. A dog walker will arrive at clients’ houses to pick up the pups and take the dogs on designated routes for an agreed-upon rate. If they have experience training their own pets, teens can offer additional services like teaching or reinforcing leash manners.
“You’ll get the great outdoors,” Salemi told “The List.” “You’ll get some exercise as you’re walking those dogs and breathe some fresh air. But also punctuality, customer service, communication skills, all rolled up into one.”
Tutor Or Teacher
Parents looking for someone to help their child improve or keep up on math, reading or other subjects over the summer may hire teens as tutors. They can help younger students in the neighborhood or provide services online.
Another option is for teens to teach younger kids (or even their peers) skills that they excel at, such as playing an instrument or sport.
Parks And Rec Worker
Salemi suggests teens check their city job boards for enjoyable summer jobs.
“Think about park and rec jobs,” she told “The List.” “You can work as a lifeguard, umpire local ball games, be outside. And you’re learning skills in the process, but you’re also having fun.”
Kids’ Party Entertainer
While it might not be a full-time gig, teens could earn extra cash over the summer as a children’s entertainer. For example, they can advertise their talents as a face painter, balloon animal artist, magician or beloved character (like a fairy tale princess) and be paid to spend a few hours at a kids’ birthday party, wowing a highly enthusiastic audience.
National Park Worker
If you are fortunate enough to live near a national park, the Park Service has a program with summer jobs for teens.
Teens can become entrepreneurs by selling everything from books to furniture to clothing and more online. People have made large sums of money by buying items from stores like Walmart and selling them on Amazon. Another option is to shop thrift stores for fashion pieces and sell them on sites like Poshmark.
You can also sell things locally using services like Facebook Marketplace or Offer Up.
Teens with a passion for reading might love getting paid to spend their days at the local library. Many libraries will hire students to work as library pages or aides. In these positions, workers often return books to shelves or help patrons at the circulation desk.
Some libraries also hire online aides to answer questions or provide information, especially since the pandemic.
Coffee-loving teens can spend their summer getting paid to make a variety of beverages at their local coffee shop.
“Barista jobs are great, first and foremost, because you could take that job anywhere,” Salemi told “The List.” “If you’re going from one city to another, once you have the skill set in your back pocket, you can have it on your resume and ace that interview.”
This means that even when they go off to college in a new town, they could seek out another part-time barista job while going to school.
“These summer jobs are off the beaten path,” Salemi told “The List.” “Look for them now before they’re going, going, gone.”
Simplemost and “The List” share a parent company, The EW Scripps Company.